According to Reuters, about 200 Canadian commandos are actively involved in the ground operation to recapture Mosul from ISIS rule. According to Michael Rouleau, Canadian Special Forces Commander, troops are engaged in a ‘substantial’ number of clashes with terrorists which continues to rise.
Why is Canada sending troops to Iraq? What are the results desired by the Canadian government? And what is it willing to sacrifice?
First, Ottawa claims that by doing so it protects itself against terrorism. Former foreign minister Rob Nicholson stressed the need to weaken and destabilize ISIS in 2015. However neither airstrikes in Iraq and Syria nor coalition’s participation in Mosul mincing machine will lead to eradication of terrorism. The example of the Taliban in Afghanistan clearly demonstrates that large-scale fighting will be followed by long and bloody guerrilla war, in which Canada could get stuck with no end in sight.
Second, we should analyze the aftermath of ISIS defeat in Iraq and Syria. This question has no clear-cut answer. In theory the Canadian military presence in Iraq helps the Iraqi government to regain control over the country. In practice Ottawa is cooperating with the Kurds, who are planning to establish their own independent state on the territory of Iraq, Syria and Turkey. These aspirations could further destabilize the region.
Third, it is unclear whether Canada is ready to confront the Islamic State on a global scale. ISIS is conducting subversive activities in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Algeria, Pakistan, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Nigeria, as well as in the countries of Southeast Asia in addition to Syria and Iraq. Consequently, it will require much more effort than just sending a few hundred soldiers to take part in an operation with controversial results for the complete elimination of the Islamic State.
Fourth, the situation in Syria and Iraq resembles a scenario that has repeatedly led to disastrous consequences in the Middle East. For example, the Western overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in fact led to the creation of ISIS. NATO’s invasion in Libya has practically ruined the country, led to fierce carnage over Muammar Gaddafi and contributed to the rapid spread of terrorist groups throughout North Africa not mentioning numerous victims among the civilian population.
Fifth, judging by the events in Mosul, one could argue that the operation would require a considerable amount of money. Despite the fact that the military operation in Iraq has already hit the budget of the country, Canada is going to allocate approximately $305.9 million extra towards extension, refocusing and carrying out the mission. This includes $41.9 million to be allocated for redeployment of personnel and equipment in 2016-17.
In addition, Canadian military’s participation in missions abroad comes with casualties. According to The Department of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces, 162 soldiers were killed in Afghanistan with more than two thousand injured. During the ten years of military presence in Afghanistan the Government invested more than $11 billion in the operation.
It is obvious that in the absence of a clear military strategy and achievable goals the situation in Iraq can become a second Afghanistan for Ottawa. Instead of solving internal problems, by supporting the international coalition Canada dared to get involved in another endless armed conflict. The leadership of the country once again has not consulted the opinion of its citizens sending dozens of soldiers to death and destroying the state budget.
An Australian citizen believed to be a top recruiter for Daesh is under arrest, the New York Times reported today, citing an unnamed US military official, months after Australia said he had been killed in a US airstrike in Iraq.
Australia said in May that Neil Prakash, who was linked to several Australia-based terrorist attack plans, was killed in an airstrike in Mosul, Iraq on 29 April.
The New York Times said Prakash was wounded in the attack and arrested by a Middle East government “in the last few weeks.” The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, citing Turkish and Australian officials, said he was arrested in Turkey.
Australian Attorney-General George Brandis, who announced Prakash’s death in May, declined to comment on “matters of intelligence or law enforcement operations.”
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said in an email response to Reuters that the government’s “capacity to confirm reports of deaths in either Syria or Iraq is limited.”
Melbourne-born Prakash had appeared in Daesh videos and magazines and had actively recruited Australian men, women and children and encouraged acts of terrorism.
Australia last year announced financial sanctions against Prakash, including threatening anyone giving financial assistance with punishment of up to 10 years in jail.
US officialdom and their media megaphones have systematically concocted narratives having less to do with political reality and more with their hallucinogenic world view. Pre-election and post-election reportage weaves a tapestry of fiction and fantasy.
We will discuss the most pernicious of these remarkable foibles and fables and their predictable failures.
1. The pundits, prestigious editorialists and ‘economists with gravitas’, have convinced themselves that the election of Donald Trump would ‘lead to the Collapse of Capitalism’. They cited his campaign attacks on globalization and trade agreements, as well as his ‘reckless’ swipes at speculators. In reality, Trump was criticizing a specific kind of capitalism. The pundits overlooked the variety of capitalisms that constitute the US economy. With their snouts deep in the trough, their own vision was limited; their curly tails blindly twirled meaningless formulae on blackboards; their ample backsides flapping away in place of their mouths. Thus occupied, they easily ignored Trump’s glorification of national capitalism.
Trump followed the legacy of protectionism in US policies established by George Washington and Alexander Hamilton and carried into the administrations of Franklin Roosevelt and others. Capitalism comes in various forms and is promoted by different protagonists at different times in our history. Some leaders have championed such economic sectors as domestic energy production, manufacturing, mining and agriculture and depended largely on the local labor markets. Nevertheless, the pundits’ dream of a final collapse of capitalism with the rise of Trump turned into a real stock market bonanza, the ‘DOW’ boomed to record levels, and monopolists rubbed their hands in anticipation of larger and more lucrative merger and acquisitions.
The world’s largest billionaire bankers had bankrolled Secretary Hillary Clinton, the ‘million-dollar-a-speech’ War Goddess. Blankfein, Soros and the dirty dozen had bet heavily against the populist-nationalist Donald Trump and they lost. Their pre-paid political manifestos, addressed to the readers of the NY Times, flopped and sputtered: Most readers and investors in domestic markets had placed their bets on ‘The Donald’. Their domestic celebrations pumped up the market after the election. The unimaginable had happened: George Soros had bet and lost! The ‘deplorable’ electorate preferred the obnoxious nationalist to the obnoxious speculator. ‘Who’d a thunk it?’
2. From electoral losers to street putschists, the speculators and their whiny media mouthpieces strive to overthrow the election process. Against the tens of millions of free voters, the speculators bankrolled a few thousands demonstrators, drunk with their own delusions of starting a color-coded ‘Manhattan Spring’ to overthrow the elected President. Decked out in black ‘anarchist chic’, the window vandals and historically illiterate students were energized by George Soros’ promise to replicate the putsches in Kiev and Tbilisi. They took to the streets, cracked a few windows and signed thousands of ‘on-line petitions’ (while denouncing Trump as the ‘Second Coming of Kristalnacht’). The media magnified the theatrics as a sort of uprising to restore their loser-emancipator to the throne – the bleery-eyed Jean D’Arc of the Hedge Funds. The losers lost and Hillary will hopefully retire to count her millions. The stock market soared to record heights.
3. The four most influential financial newspapers, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the Financial Times (FT), the New York Times (NYT) and the Washington Post (WP) had deeply mourned their ‘Paradise Lost’: Long-gone was the rotting vassal-state of Russia under Boris Yeltsin 1991 – 2000, source of so much Western pillage. Their bile turned to venom, directed at the new Nemesis: Putin. The election of Vladimir Putin led to a remarkable economic and social recovery for Russia. From a Western controlled gangster-capitalist ‘thug-ocracy’, Russia has become a modern global power asserting its own sovereignty and national interests.
Gone are the days when Harvard economists could sack Russia of millions through their various ‘democracy’ foundations and Wall Street bankers could launder billions from the criminal oligarchs. Pentagon planners had dismantled Russian bases throughout its previous Warsaw Pact neighbors and set up NATO bases on Russia’s borders. State Department functionaries had overthrown elected pro-Russian regimes in the Ukraine, Georgia and as far afield as Libya. These were the unfettered joys of the US unipolar rulers and their stable of prestigious press pimps and academics, until Putin arrived to spoil the party. And in the run-up to the US election, the Clintonites and their Democratic entourage in the media launched the most frenzied demonic attack accusing Vladimir Putin of financing Trump’s campaign, of hacking Clinton’s messy, unsecured e-mail messages to undermine elections, of bombing Syrian hospitals full of children, of preparing to invade Latvia and Poland etc., etc. If there is one sliver of truth in the vassal press, it is that the demonic changes made against Putin reflected the gory reality of Hillary Clinton’s well-documented policies.
Clinton’s model for a democratic Russia was the drunken President Yeltsin, bankrolled by thugs as they gorged themselves on the corpse of the USSR. But Vladimir Putin was elected repeatedly by huge majorities and his governance has been far more representative of the Russian electorate than those of the recidivist loser, Hillary Clinton. Russia didn’t ‘invade’ the Ukraine or Crimea. It was the ‘potty-mouthed’ Victoria Nuland, US Undersecretary of State for European Affairs, who boasted of having tossed a mere 5 billion dollars into neo-fascist-kleptocratic putsch that took over Ukraine and who famously dismissed the concerns of the European Union… with her secretly recorded ‘F— the EU’ comment to the US Ambassador!
At some point, reality has to bubble up through the slime: Putin never financed Trump – the billionaire financed his own campaign. On the other hand, Clinton was bankrolled by Saudi despots, Zionist billionaires and Wall Street bankers. The mass media, the WSJ, FT, NYT and the WP, dutifully served the same stale, old sexist gossip about Trump in support of the sweet and sour, wide-eyed Madam Strangelove, who never hesitated to rip the lives out of thousands of Muslim women in their own countries. The media celebrated Madame Clinton’s nuclear option for Syria (the ‘No-Fly Zone’) while it ridiculed Trump’s proposal to negotiate a settlement with Putin.
The media accused Trump of being a sexist, racist, anti-immigrant villain, all the while ignoring Secretary of State Clinton’s blood-soaked history of bombs and destruction, of killing of tens of thousands women in the Middle East and Africa and driving hundreds of thousands among the two million sub-Sahara Africans formerly employed in Libya under Gadhafi’s rule onto rotting ships in the Mediterranean Sea. Who in Madame’s media count the millions of people dispossessed or the 300,000 killed by the US-promoted mercenary invasion of Syria? Where were the feminists, who now dredge up Trump’s crude ‘crotch talk’, when millions of women and children of color were killed, injured, raped and dispossessed by Madame Clinton’s seven wars? Given the choice, most women would prefer to defend themselves from the stupid words of a vulgar misogynist over the threat of a Clinton-Obama predator drone ripping their families to shreds. Nasty, juvenile words do not compare with a history of bloody war crimes.
It is much easier to denounce Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump than to analyze the consequences of Madame Candidate Clinton’s policies. The mass media, subservient to Clinton, wave the flag of ‘worker struggles’ and highlight ‘capitalist exploitation’ when they describe China, Russia and the businesses of US President-Elect Trump. But their perspective is that of the ‘Uni-Polar Empire’. They cite non-unionized worker protests in Chinese factories and peasants fighting the rapacious developers. They cite corrupt oil sales in Russia. They find cheap immigrant labor employed on Trump’s building projects. The media describe and defend Hong Kong separatists. They heap praise on the Uighar, Chechen and Tibetan terrorists as “freedom fighters” and “liberators”. They fail to acknowledge that, as bad as worker exploitation is in these examples, it is far less horrific than the suffering experienced by millions of local and immigrant peasants and workers who have been injured, killed and rendered jobless and homeless by US bombing campaigns in Libya and US invasion-destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. The imperial media’s phony ‘anti-capitalist-exploiter stories’ against Trump, Putin and the Chinese are mere propaganda rhetoric designed to entice leftists, influence liberals and reinforce conservatives by playing on workers’ plight inflicted by national adversaries instead of imperial conquests and egregious crimes against humanity.
These financial scribes are very selective in their critique of economic exploitation: They denounce political adversaries while churning out vapid cultural stories and reports on the ‘eclectic tastes’ of the elite. Their weekend cultural pages may occasionally contain a critique of some predatory financiers next to a special feature on an unusual sculptor or successful upwardly mobile immigrant writer. Day after day, the same financial media publishes predictable ‘bootlickeries’ masquerading as reports on vulture capitalists, warmongers and imperial warlords. They court and offer advice to Wall Street, the City of London and Gulf State sheikdoms. They write in blubbering awe at the bold multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions, which eliminate competitive prices and establish effective monopolies. Then they deftly turn to rant against President-Elect Donald Trump’s pronouncements on workers’ rights – he is ‘the demagogue threatening free-market . . . capitalism’.
The fear and loathing of the ‘Wildman’ Trump, so evident in the four most prestigious English language newspapers, is nowhere to be found in reference to Secretary Clinton’s pathological glee over the gruesome torture-murder of the injured President Gadhafi by her allied jihadi tribesmen. The global and domestic implications of the US Secretary of State expressing glee and high pitched squeals on viewing the filmed torture and final ‘coup de grace’ on the wounded head of the Libyan President was never analyzed in the respectable press. Instead, the press superficially covers the plight of millions of immigrants and refugees who would never have left their jobs and homes were it not for the US destruction of the Middle East and North Africa. The respectable media defend the US officials directly responsible for the plight of these migrants flooding and threatening to destabilize Europe.
The same newspapers defend the ‘human rights’ of Chinese workers in local and US-owned factories who out-competed domestic American factories, but ignore the plight of millions of unemployed and destitute workers trying to survive in the US war zones and Israeli-occupied territories.
The Presidential elections made millions of American voters starkly aware of the mendacity of the mass media and the corruption of the Clinton political elite.
The media and the Clinton-elite denounced the Trump voters as ‘deplorables’ and totally mischaracterized them. They were not overwhelmingly unemployed, bitter former industrial workers or minimum wage, uneducated racists from the gutted ‘heartland’. ‘Angry white male workers’ constituted only a fraction of the Trump electorate. Trump received the vote of large sections of suburban middle class professionals, managers and local business people; joined by downwardly mobile Main Street shopkeepers, garage owners and construction contractors. A majority of white women voted for Trump. City household residents, still trying to recover from the Obama-Clinton era mortgage foreclosures, formed an important segment of the Trump majority, as did underpaid university and community college graduates – despairing of ever finding long-term stable employment. In short, low-paid, exploited and precarious business owners and service sector employees formed a larger section of the Trump majority than the stereotyped ‘deplorable angry white racists’ embedded in the media and Clinton-Sanders propaganda.
Post-election media has magnified the political significance and size of the anti-Trump demonstrations. Altogether the demonstrators barely surpassed a hundred thousand in a country of 100 million voters. Most have been white students, Democratic Party activists and Soros-financed NGOs. Their demonstrations have been far smaller than the huge pro-Trump public rallies during the campaign. The pro-Clinton media, which consistently ignored the size of Trump’s rallies, doesn’t bother to make any comparison. They have focused exclusively on the post-election protest, completely papering over the outrageous manipulation by which the Democratic National Committee under ‘Debbie’ Wasserman Schultz cheated Clinton’s wildly popular left-wing rival, Bernie Sanders, during the primaries.
Instead, the media has been featuring Clintonesque ‘feminist’ professionals and ‘identity’ political activists, ignoring the fact that a majority of working women voted for Trump for economic reasons. Many politically conscious African-American and Latino women knew that Clinton was deeply involved in policies that deported 2 million immigrant workers and family members between 2009 – 2014 and destroyed the lives of millions of women of color in North and Central Africa because of her war against the government of Libya. For millions of female and male workers, as well as immigrants – there was a ‘lesser evil’ – Trump. For them, the Donald’s nasty remarks about women and Mexicans were less disturbing than the real history of Hillary Clinton’s brutal wars destroying women of color in Africa and the Middle East and her savage policies against immigrants.
The more bizarre (but transient) aspect of the anti-Trump smear campaign came from an hysterical section of the pro-Hillary ‘Zionist Power Configuration’ (ZPC) and ‘Israel-First’ crackpots who accused him and some of his appointees of anti-Semitism. These venomous propagandists slapped the Manhattan real-estate mogul Trump with an odd assortment of labels: ‘fascist’, ‘misogynist’, ‘anti-Israel’, Ku Klux Klan apologist and White Nationalist. The Minnesota Senator and former comedian Al Franken described Trump’s critique against Wall Street Bankers and finance capital as ‘dog whistles’ for anti-Semites, labeling the candidate as a 21st century disseminator of the ‘Protocols of Zion’. Senator Franken darkly hinted that ‘rogue’ (anti-Semitic) agents had infiltrated the FBI and were working to undermine Israel’s favorite, Clinton. He even promised to initiate a post-election purge of the FBI… upon Clinton’s victory… Needless to say, the Senator’s own rant, published (and quickly buried) two days before the election in the Guardian, did not help Madame Hillary with the security apparatus in the United States. History has never been a strong point with the Comedian Senator Al Franken, who should have know better than to threaten the deep security state: his Mid-West predecessor Senator Joseph McCarthy quickly deflated after he threatened the generals.
The accusations of anti-Semitism against Trump were baseless and desperate: The Trump campaign team has prominently included Jews and Israel-Firsters and secured a minority of Jewish votes, especially among smaller business people supporting greater protectionism. Secondly, Trump condemned anti-Semitic acts and language and did not appeal to any of the extremist groups – let alone ‘cite the Protocols of Zion’.
Thirdly (and predictably) the Zionist Anti-Defamation League (ADL) slapped an anti-Semitic ‘guilt by association’ label on Donald Trump because of his consistent criticism of US wars and occupations in the Middle East, which Trump had correctly pointed out cost the US over two trillion dollars – money that would have totally rebuilt the failing US infrastructure and created millions of domestic jobs. For the loony ADL, the US wars in the Middle East have enhanced Israel’s security and thus any opposition to these wars is anti-Semitic or ‘guilt by association’.
The ADL directors, who have raked in over $3 million dollar salaries over the past 5 years ‘protecting’ US Jews, objected to Trump because Hillary Clinton was the darling of the pro-war Israel-First lobbies and Obama-Clinton appointees.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka (a convert to Judaism) is married into a prominent Orthodox Jewish family with strong ties to Israel; the Trump clan is close to elements among the Israeli elite, including the uber-racist Netanyahu. These hysterical slanders against ‘Trump the Anti-Semite’ reflect the fact that the most prominent domestic Jewish power bloc, ‘the 52 Presidents of American Jewish Organization’ had invested heavily in Hillary Clinton. No matter what the cost, no matter what the land grab, no matter how many Palestinians were ‘killed or maimed by Jewish settler-vigilantes’; the State of Israel could always count on Clinton’s unconditional support. The Lobby would not need to ‘petition’ their ‘First Woman’ President; Madame Hillary would have anticipated Israel’s every desire and even embellished their rhetoric.
In the end, Senator Al Franken’s rabid anti- Trump rant went too far . . . vanishing from the Guardian website in less than one day. Influential Zionist organizations turned their backs on the Senator Comedian; the Zionist Organization of America reprimanded the ADL for its intemperate slanders – sensing that Clinton could lose.
The Franken-Zionist power structure’s last-ditch efforts to attack Trump must have provoked a very negative response within the US ‘deep state’. There can be no doubt that the entire intelligence, military and security elites struck back and put their organizational ‘thumb on the scale’.
The FBI’s release of damaging documents related to Secretary Clinton undermined the ADL’s candidate in the run-up to the election and hinted at an interesting power struggle behind the curtains. The confidential documents, likely including epistles from Chappaqua to and from Tel Aviv, linked tangentially to the pedophilic crimes of the disgraced Congressman (and former Clinton ally) Anthony Weiner was a heavy blow.
The Netanyahu Cabinet put distance between themselves and their favorites, probably telling AIPAC leaders to muzzle Al Franken and pretend his threats to purge the FBI had never been launched. They were clearly worried that their lunatic attack dogs could set the entire US Security State on a hostile track against Israel.
The Franken-ADL trial balloon fizzled and disappeared. The intelligence establishment pounded the final nail into the coffin of Hillary Clinton’s Presidential aspirations. She even briefly accused the FBI of ruining her candidacy – hinting at some partial but oversimplified truth. A Zionist darling to the end, Hillary would never dare to identify and castigate the crazy and incompetent Zionist provocateurs that had helped to turn the Deep State against Madame Secretary.
A last note: Once Clinton lost and Trump took ‘the prize’, the Zionist Power Structure deftly switched sides: the former ‘Anti-Semite’ candidate Trump became ‘Israel’s Best Friend in the White House’. None of the 52 leading Zionist organizations would join the street protests. Only vulture-speculator George Soros (who had bet heavily on the wrong horse) would finance the motley group of goys marching in the streets and collecting on-line petitions for ‘democracy’.
The foibles, fables and failure of the financial press and their keepers lost the election but are back, hard at work, remaking President-Elect Trump into a global free marketer.
The 8-day visit by the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, which concluded on Monday, turned out to be a low-key affair. Gone are the days when high-level exchanges with Israel used to be sexy events. The novelty has worn off. There was no media hype about Rivlin’s visit. And the ‘demonetisation’ crisis alone cannot account for it.
The point is, an air of stagnation is appearing in the India-Israel relationship. Fundamentally, India has been rapidly transforming in the recent decade and its priorities have changed. Again, the regional and international environment has changed phenomenally.
The Bharatiya Janata Party used to be regarded as excessively ‘Israel-friendly’. Yet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is still to pay a visit to Israel. Modi visited a few West Asian countries already but all of them belong to the so-called Muslim world – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey and Iran. India’s priorities have been worked out.
Modi’s Iran visit was an eloquent statement in itself. India is undeterred by Israel’s animosities toward Iran. Curiously, while Rivlin was in India, media reports appeared that the ONGC Videsh’s protracted negotiations to strike a multi-billion dollar deal with Iran for the development of the Farzad-B gas field (with estimated reserves of 21.6 trillion cubic feet) have reached the home stretch.
Reuters reported separately that in the month of October, Iran surpassed Saudi Arabia as India’s number one supplier of crude oil – a whopping 789,000 barrels per day as against Saudi Arabia’s 697,000 bpd. India views the Chabahar project as a major geo-strategic initiative. Suffice it to say, Iran is becoming an indispensable partner and that is a geopolitical reality.
On the other hand, remittances from GCC countries to India’s budget work out to a handsome figure of $25 billion or so annually. Interestingly, Saudi Arabia’s Aramco recently had a rival offer to acquire Essar (which ultimately forced the Russian consortium to improve their bid and pay up $13 billion.) The Gulf region is also India’s number one export market.
In short, there is such a lot going for India in the West Asian region. The point is, what is it that Israel can offer? Drip irrigation, water management, recycling, conservation and desalination, dairy farming, polyhouse techniques, bee-keeping – these niches are surely interesting, each in its own way. But, what India desperately needs is massive investments to develop its manufacturing industry and infrastructure, which are crucial for job creation. It needs energy security. It needs to boost export earnings. What can Israel do for India? Ironically, Israel’s focus is exclusively on securing lucrative business for its companies.
Israel’s importance for India lies in defence cooperation. But here again, Israel may be incrementally losing its advantage as an interesting source of advanced military technology that was previously unavailable for India directly from the US. India is increasingly a big market for weaponry, with cut-throat competition setting in among the foreign vendors.
In political terms, too, Israel is of no relevance for India in handling the most consequential relationship in its foreign policy – namely, relations with China. As for the US-Indian relationship, it has matured to a point that India has no more need to leverage Jewish lobbyists. Arguably, Israel’s capacity to influence US policies also should not be exaggerated. Israel pulled all stops to scuttle the P5+1 and Iran negotiations but spectacularly failed to intimidate President Barack Obama.
Israel is palpably nervous about Donald Trump’s likely Middle East policies. Trump’s idea of working with Russia to resolve the Syrian conflict works against Israel’s regional agenda of fragmenting and weakening its neighbors. Continued Israeli support for the al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front in Syria will only invite Russian and Iranian retribution. Indeed, India and Israel are not on the same page in regard of the war against terrorist groups in Syria.
All in all, India-Israel relations are at a crossroads. Simply chanting old hackneyed mantras on terrorism, secularism, democracy, et al, won’t suffice. There is danger of stagnation setting in. An India-Israel reset is overdue. A relationship based on negative passions — paranoia, fear complex, insecurities, vanities and false identity — is inherently flawed and cannot have an enduring future in a rapidly changing regional and international environment, howsoever keen the two sides could be to remain relevant to each other.
An editorial in the Jerusalem Post newspaper on Rivlin’s visit calls attention to the stark realities confronting the future of India-Israel ties. No, Sir: we in India don’t have such fears over Kashmir, as you’d have over your occupied territories and illegal settlements.
True, we also have our share of ‘Rabbis’ but Indians are not addicted to Islamophobia; nor do we associate Islam with terrorism as a matter of state policy. No, India does not fancy itself as a ‘regional counterweight’ to Russia or China; we simply don’t suffer from such inferiority complex.
And, it is downright absurd to associate India’s ‘authentic national identity’ with Hindu religion. Worse still, it is an act of self-serving sophistry on the Israeli side to do so. We are an ancient civilization and not an artificial creation by western powers in this part of the world, and we do not need the crutch of religion to define our national identity. We’d prefer to be known by our IT industry and satellites and our eclectic culture.
Photo by The U.S. Army | CC BY 2.0
Carthage, Tunisia – No one knows what the future will bring. Yet, many observers have been quick to announce the decline of American interventionism and the revival of isolationism–the end of an era and the beginning of another.
Rightly or wrongly, Hillary Clinton’s defeat by Donald Trump fuels this prediction, which depresses some and delights other. The conflicted responses to Trump’s victory, based on ideological interests and values, register even within families. However, the most dramatic split reactions to Trump’s victory are exemplified by the left’s reception—liberal or socialist—in the global North versus the global South. If the North reacted to Trump’s victory with suffocated apprehension, the South experienced it as a breath of fresh air, not out of sympathy for Trump but as a rejection of Clinton.
The global South associates the name of Clinton—Bill or Hillary—with the heralds of humanitarian intervention. If the discourse of humanitarianism seduced the North, it has not been so in the South, even less in the Near and Middle East, which no longer believe in it. The patent humanitarian disasters in Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, and Syria have disillusioned them.
It is in this sense that Trump’s victory is felt as a release, a hope for change, and a rupture from the policy of Clinton, Bush, and Obama. This policy, in the name of edifying nations (“nation building”), has destroyed some of the oldest nations and civilizations on earth; in the name of delivering well-being, it has delivered misery; in the name of liberal values, it has galvanized religious zeal; in the name of democracy and human rights, it has installed autocracies and Sharia law.
Who is to blame?
Did the United States not know that intervening in “the lands of Islam” would act as a catalyst for Jihad? Was it by chance that the United States intervened only in secular states, turning them into manholes of religious extremism? Is it a coincidence that these interventions were and are often supported by regimes that sponsor political Islam? Conspiracy theory, you say? No, these are historical facts.
Can the United States not learn from history, or does it just doom itself to repeat it? Does it not pose itself the question of how al-Qaeda and Daesh originated? How did they organize themselves? Who trained them? What is their mobilizing discourse? (1) Why is the US their target? None of this seems to matter to the US: all it cares about is projecting its own idealism. (2)
The death of thousands of people in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya or Syria, has it contributed to the well being of these peoples? Or does the United States perhaps respond to this question in the manner of Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, who regretted the death of five-hundred-thousand Iraqi children, deprived of medications by the American embargo, to conclude with the infamous sentence, “[But] it was worth it “?
Was it worth it that people came to perceive humanitarian intervention as the new crusades? Was it worth it that they now perceive democracy as a pagan, pre-Islamic model, abjured by their belief? Was it worth it that they now perceive modernity as deviating believers from the “true” path? Was it worth that they now perceive human rights as human standards as contrary to the divine will? Was it worth it that people now perceive secularism as atheism whose defenders are punishable by beheading?
Have universal values become a problem rather than a solution? What then to think of making war in their name? Has humanitarian intervention become punishment rather than help?
The South has understood where the North has not: the selective nature of humanitarian interventions reflects their punitive nature; sanctions go to non-client regimes; interventions seem to be a new excuse for the hegemonic ambitions of the United States and its allies; they are a new rationale for NATO after the collapse of the Soviet Union; they are a way to suppress Russia and deprive it of its zones of influence. (3)
What a far-sighted motion was that of the coalition of the countries of the Third World (G77) at the Havana Summit in 2000! It declared its rejection of any intervention, including humanitarian, which did not respect the sovereignty of the states concerned. (4) This was nothing other than a rejection of the Clinton Doctrine, announced in 1999, in the wake of the war of Kosovo, which made “humanitarian intervention” the new bedrock, or perhaps the new facade, of the foreign policy of the United States. It was the same policy followed and developed by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state. (5)
The end of interventionism?
But are Clinton’s defeat and Trump’s accession to power sufficient reasons to declare the decline of interventionism?
Donald Trump is a nationalist, whose rise has been the result of a coalition of anti-interventionists within the Republican Party. They profess a foreign policy that Trump has summarized in these words: “We will use military force only in cases of vital necessity to the national security of the United States. We will put an end to attempts of imposing democracy and overthrowing regimes abroad, as well as involving ourselves in situations in which we have no right to intervene.” (6)
But drawing conclusions about the foreign policy of the United States from unofficial statements seems simplistic. At the moment of this writing, any speculation as to the policy choices of Trump’s foreign policy is premature. One can’t predict his policy with regard to the Near and Middle East, since he has not yet even formed his cabinet. Moreover, presidents in office can change their tune in the course of their tenure. The case of George W. Bush provides an excellent example.
Like Donald Trump, George W. Bush was a conservative Republican non-interventionist. He advocated “America First,” called for a more subdued foreign policy and adopted Colin Powell’s realism “to attend without stress” (7) with regard to the Near and Middle East. But his policy shifted to become the most aggressive and most brutal in the history of the United States. Many international observers argue that this shift came as a response to the September 11 attacks, but they fail to note that the aggressive germs already existed within Bush’s cabinet and advisers: the neo-conservatives occupied key functions in his administration. (8)
Up until now, Trump’s links with the neo-cons remain unclear. The best-known neo-cons, Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol, and Robert Kagan, appear to have lost their bet by supporting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. But others, less prominent or influential, seem to have won it by supporting Trump: Dick Cheney, Norman Podhoretz, and James Woolsey, his adviser and one of the architects of the wars in the Middle East.
These indices show that nothing seems to have been gained by the South, still less by the Near and Middle East. There appears to be no guarantee that the situation will improve.
The non-interventionism promised by Trump may not necessarily equate to a policy of isolationism. A non-interventionist policy does not automatically mean that the United States will stop protecting their interests abroad, strategic or otherwise. Rather, it could mean that the United States will not intervene abroad except to defend their own interests, unilaterally–and perhaps even more aggressively. Such a potential is implied in Trump’s promise to increase the budget for the army and the military-industrial complex. Thus, it is more realistic to suppose that as long as the United States has interests in the countries of the South and the Near and Middle East, so long it will not hesitate to intervene.
In this context, Clinton’s defeat and Trump’s accession are not sufficient reasons to declare the decline of interventionism—the end of an era and the beginning of another. The political reality is too complex to be reduced to statements by a presidential candidate campaigning for election, by an elected president, or even by a president in the course of performing his office.
No one knows what the future will bring.
Marwen Bouassida is a researcher in international law at North African-European relations, University of Carthage, Tunisia. He regularly contributes to the online magazine Kapitalis.
(Translated from the French by Luciana Bohne)
1 The Declaration of 77 South Summit, Havana – Cuba, 10 – 14 April 2000: http://www.g77.org/summit/Declaration_G77Summit.htm
2 See : Diana Johnstone, Queen of Chaos : The misadventure of Hillary Clinton, CounterPunch, 2015.
3 Actualité : « Trump mettra fin aux ingérences US s’il est élu », Suptniknews (Novembre 04, 2016) En ligne : http://sptnkne.ws/cBzJ
4 Gilles Kepel, Fitna : Guerre au cœur de l’islam, Gallimard, 2004, p.90.
5 Ted Galen Carpenter, “Donald Trump’s foreign policy: What will he really do?” The National Interest (Novembre 12, 2016) Online: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/donald-trumps-foreign-policy-what-will-he-really-do-18378
6 Sputniknews, « Trump mettra fin aux ingérences US s’il est élu », Novembre 04, 2016. http://sptnkne.ws/cBzJ (last seen: November 17, 2016)
7 Gilles Kepel, Fitna : Guerre au cœur de l’islam, Gallimard, 2004, p.90
8 Ted Galen Carpenter, “Donald Trump’s foreign policy: What will he really do?”, The National Interest, Novembre 12, 2016 http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/donald-trumps-foreign-policy-what-will-he-really-do-18378 (last seen: Novembre 17, 2016)
An Ansar al-Islam terrorist tests a shoulder-fired and low-altitude 9K32 Strela-2 surface-to-air missile system in an unknown location in southwestern Syria
A report says members of a foreign-sponsored militant group in Syria have received a considerable amount of shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles, a possible indication that the US has eased restrictions on the supply of weapons to the anti-Damascus militants.
In a video published by the a pro-militant television network on Sunday, terrorists from the so-called Ansar al-Islam group can be seen testing low-altitude 9K32 Strela-2 missile systems in the southwestern Syrian provinces of Dara’a and Quneitra.
“We, in Ansar al-Islam Front, have distributed several points of air defense to counter any attempt by the Syrian warplanes or helicopters, which bomb points in Quneitra Province. We have a good number of these missiles,” a militant can be heard saying in the video.
A second militant says his group and the so-called Free Syrian Army are deploying munitions and forces to the towns of al-Harra, Masharah, Sandaniya and Jabata for attack against Syrian government forces within the next few days.
The report comes amid indications that the US administration has given the green light to its allies in the Middle East to send missiles to terrorist groups inside Syria through Jordan and Turkey.
A militant source said in late September that the US has agreed to the start of arms shipments from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
A Reuters report has also hinted at the possibility that President Barack Obama would overturn the ban on the supply of missiles to extremist militants in Syria in the wake of Russian and Syrian forces’ offensives to retake the militant-held eastern part of the city of Aleppo.
Turkish airstrike kills Syrians
Meanwhile, Turkish aerial bombardment against the purported positions of Daesh terrorists near the northwestern Syrian city of al-Bab has killed seven people.
Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that ten people also sustained injuries in the Monday attack.
On August 24, the Turkish air force and special ground forces kicked off Operation Euphrates Shield inside Syria in a bid to support the so-called Free Syrian Army militants and rid the border area of Daesh terrorists and fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
The incursion drew strong condemnation from the Damascus government for violating Syrian sovereignty.
Also on Monday, ten civilians were killed when fighter jets from a US-led military coalition hit an area in the al-Salehiyah Village of the northern Syrian province of al-Raqqah.
Since September 2014, the US and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out airstrikes against what they say are Daesh positions inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a United Nations (UN) mandate.
The US-led coalition has done little to stop Daesh’s advances in Syria and Iraq. Some analysts have criticized the US-led military campaign, saying the strikes are only meant to benefit US weapons manufacturers.
Two weeks after Donald Trump’s shocking upset of Hillary Clinton, the imperious and imperial neoconservatives and their liberal-interventionist understudies may finally be losing their tight grip on U.S. foreign policy.
The latest sign was Trump’s invitation for a meeting with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, on Monday. The mainstream media commentary has almost completely missed the potential significance of this start-of-the-work-week meeting, suggesting that Trump is attracted to Gabbard’s tough words on “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Far more important is that Gabbard, a 35-year-old Iraq War veteran, endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries because of his opposition to neocon/liberal-hawk military adventures. She starred in one of the strongest political ads of the campaign, a message to Hawaiians, called “The Cost of War.”
“Bernie Sanders voted against the Iraq War,” Gabbard says. “He understands the cost of war, that that cost is continued when our veterans come home. Bernie Sanders will defend our country and take the trillions of dollars that are spent on these interventionist, regime change, unnecessary wars and invest it here at home.”
In the ad, Gabbard threw down the gauntlet to the neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks, by accusing them of wasting trillions of dollars “on these interventionist, regime change, unnecessary wars.” Her comments mesh closely with Trump’s own perspective.
So, the surprise election results on Nov. 8 may have represented a “trading places” moment for the neocons and liberal hawks who were eagerly counting the days before the “weak” President Barack Obama would turn over the Commander-in-Chief job to former Secretary of State Clinton who had made clear that she shared their hawkish agenda of escalating the war in Syria and ratcheting up the New Cold War with Russia.
There was even speculation that one of Clinton’s neocon favorites within the State Department, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, might be rewarded with State’s top job for her “regime change” in Ukraine that sparked the start of the New Cold War in 2014.
Nuland, the wife of arch-neocon Robert Kagan, sabotaged President Obama’s emerging strategy of collaborating with Russian President Vladimir Putin on sensitive global issues. In 2013-14, Putin helped orchestrate two of Obama’s brightest foreign policy successes: Syria’s surrender of its chemical weapons arsenal and Iran’s guarantee that it would not develop nuclear weapons.
But those agreements infuriated the neocons who favored escalating both crises into direct U.S. bombing campaigns aimed at Syria and Iran – in accordance with the desires of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi monarchy. Yet. there was perhaps even greater alarm at what the next move of the Obama-Putin tag team might be: demanding that Israel finally get serious about a peace deal with the Palestinians.
So, the neocons took aim at Ukraine, which neocon National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman identified as “the biggest prize” and an important stepping stone to an even bigger prize, a “regime change” in Moscow removing Putin.
While Gershman’s NED funded (with U.S. taxpayers’ money) scores of projects inside Ukraine, training anti-government activists and journalists, Nuland took the point as the key organizer of a putsch that removed elected President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22, 2014, and replaced him with a fiercely anti-Russian regime.
Given the geopolitical sensitivity of Ukraine to Russia, including its naval base on the Crimean peninsula, Putin had little choice but to react, supporting a referendum in Crimea in which 96 percent of the voters favored leaving Ukraine and rejoining Russia – and assisting ethnic Russian rebels in the east who resisted the violent ouster of their president.
Of course, the mainstream Western news media presented these developments as simply a case of “Russian aggression” and a “Russian invasion.” And, faced with this new “group think,” Obama quickly abandoned his partner, Putin, and joined in the chorus of condemnations.
Nuland emerged as a new star inside the State Department, a hero of the New Cold War which was expected to funnel trillions of tax dollars into the Military-Industrial Complex.
But Trump surprisingly adopted the position that Obama shied away from, a recognition that Putin could be an important asset in resolving major international crises. The real-estate-mogul-turned-politician stuck to that “outside-the-mainstream” position despite fierce attacks from rival Republicans and Democratic presidential nominee Clinton, who even mocked him as Putin’s “puppet.”
After Trump’s upset victory on Nov. 8, many pundits assumed that Trump would fall back in line with Washington’s hawkish foreign-policy establishment by giving top jobs to neocons, such as former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and ex-CIA Director James Woolsey, or Netanyahu favorites, such as former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney or ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
So far, however, Trump has followed a different course, more in line with the libertarian thinking of the Koch brothers – not only the more famous ones, Charles and David, but also their long-estranged brother William, who I’m told have become behind-the-scenes advisers to the President-elect.
Though Trump did offer high-profile meetings to the likes of Romney and Giuliani, he has yet to hand over any key foreign-policy job to the Republican neocon wing. His one major announcement in that area has been naming as National Security Advisor retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who led the Defense Intelligence Agency when it produced a prescient warning that U.S. policy in Syria would lead to the creation of an “Islamic State.”
Though Flynn is regarded as a hardliner in the fight against Islamic jihadist terror, he is seen as an independent thinker regarding how best to wage that war. For instance, Flynn has objected to the notion that drone strikes, i.e., killing off individual jihadists, is a route to success.
“We’ve tended to say, drop another bomb via a drone and put out a headline that ‘we killed Abu Bag of Doughnuts’ and it makes us all feel good for 24 hours,” Flynn said. “And you know what? It doesn’t matter. It just made them a martyr, it just created a new reason to fight us even harder.”
That leaves open the possibility that a President Trump might eschew the “whack-a-mole” approach that has bedeviled the “war on terror” and instead go after the “mole nest” – if you will – the Saudi monarchy that has long financed Islamic extremists both through the fundamentalist Wahhabi brand of Sunni Islam and by supplying money and weapons to jihadists dating back at least to the Afghan mujahedeen in the 1980s, the origin of modern Islamic terrorism.
Traditional U.S. politicians have recoiled from facing up to the hard reality that the Saudi monarchy is the real “terror central” because of Saudi Arabia’s enormous riches and influence, which is now enhanced by its quiet alliance with Israel in their joint campaign against the so-called “Shiite crescent,” from Iran through Syria to Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Taking on this Saudi-Israel nexus has long been regarded as political suicide, given Israel’s extraordinary lobbying power and Saudi Arabia’s exceptional wealth. But Trump may be assembling a team that is “crazy” enough to take on that mission.
So, while the fight over the future of U.S. foreign policy is far from over – the neocons will surely flex their muscles at the major think tanks, on the op-ed pages and inside the halls of Congress – the Trump transition is showing some creativity in assembling a national security team that may go in a very different direction.
Much will become apparent in Trump’s choice of Secretary of State. If it’s someone like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, or Rep. Gabbard or a libertarian from the Kochs’ world, that would be bad news for the neocons. If it’s someone like Romney, Giuliani, Bolton or Woolsey, then that will mean that President-elect Trump has blinked and the neocons can breathe a sigh of relief.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.
US leaders almost always justify their foreign policy with words about “democracy” and “human rights.” Especially when talking about the Middle East, the insincerity of such words are blatantly obvious. While US leaders criticize Iran and Syria for alleged human rights violations, the entire world can see that the US allies in the region are serial human rights violators.
Israel has been widely condemned for its treatment of Palestinians. Saudi Arabia is a country where even the basic notion of human rights does not exist. The Kingdom is an absolute monarchy where people can still be executed by beheading or crucifixion in the 21st century. Crimes punishable by death under the Saudi regime include “sorcery” and “insulting the King.” Under Saudi law, the people are not citizens with rights, but rather “subjects” who are essentially the King’s property.
Qatar is yet another repressive regime. Like Saudi Arabia, it is an absolute monarchy, where a King serves as the unelected autocrat.
Bahrain is known not only for its lack of democratic structures, but for its repression of the Shia Muslim majority who frequently take to the streets, demanding their rights.
The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, and almost every other US-aligned regime in the Arab world has a primitive political system, centered on an autocratic monarchy. These regimes are known to torture, behead, flog, repress free speech, oppress religious minorities, and do all kinds of things US leaders claim to oppose.
This does not prevent the United States from selling weapons to these regimes, or from purchasing their oil. This also does not prevent the USA from establishing military bases on their soil, and otherwise coddling them.
In fact, the Financial Times describes how the United Arab Emirates is becoming a beloved “tax haven” for the rich and powerful in the western world. While western leaders love to talk about human rights, they have no problem with autocratic emirates handling their money.
The Roots of Wahabbi Terrorism
More shockingly, the involvement of these regimes in terrorism has not deterred US support. It took 15 years for the classified 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission report to be released. The pages revealed that Saudi government officials had collaborated with the 9/11 hijackers. It furthermore revealed that Saudi Arabia had been uncooperative and offered minimal support to US officials with their investigations during the aftermath of the attacks.
The Saudi Royal family owes its reign to the British Empire. During the 1900s the British discovered that the House of Saud were useful allies against the Ottoman Empire, and were more than willing to sell their oil at a reasonable price. The Saudi monarchy professes a particularly conservative brand of Islam known as “Wahabbism.”
While not every Wahabbi has been involved in terrorism, Al-Queda, ISIS, Al-Nusra, Osama Bin Laden, Omar Mateen, and nearly every Middle-Eastern or Central-Asian terrorist who has menaced the world in recent years has been an adherent of Wahabbism. Wahabbism is particularly anti-Western and anti-American. Opponents of the Saudi ideology often call it “Takfirism,” a term that refers to Wahabbi’s willingness to kill other Muslims with whom they disagree.
The relationship between Wahabbi fanatics and Britain’s wealthy has not ended. A recent article in the Financial Times describes how British Houses of Finance now specialize in “Islamic Banking.” While many Islamic scholars describe the very concept as fraudulent, many financial institutions are accommodating sultans, emirates, and princes who adhere to strict Wahabbi laws. Islam forbids lending money for interest, so many financial institutions have invented loopholes with hidden fees, investment returns, and other mechanisms that can accommodate strict adherents.
During the 1980s, the CIA worked with the heir of a wealthy Saudi construction dynasty to build a Wahabbi army. Osama bin Laden was sent to Afghanistan to build an army of “Mujihadeen” to topple the People’s Democratic Party. The US worked closely with the fanatical Wahabbi terrorists to battle the Marxist government of Afghanistan and their Soviet allies.
Currently, the United States works with Saudi Arabia to fund a Wahabbi insurgency against the secular Syrian Arab Republic. ISIS and Al-Nusra are known to be terrorists inspired by the Saudi ideology. The Saudis have been caught directly helping them out. Among the US backed “moderate rebels,” many Wahabbis can also be found.
Most of the various US-aligned autocracies in the Middle East can be linked to the Wahabbi forces in Syria. Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and other regimes have made the goal of “regime change” in Syria a priority, and many ISIS fighters have emerged from their respective populations.
Is The Tide Turning?
While the past three presidencies of Bush, Obama, and Clinton have involved massive coddling of the Saudi regime, Donald Trump often spoke against Saudi Arabia during his Presidential campaign. Furthermore, in a recent move, the US Congress dramatically overrode Barack Obama’s veto, and passed the controversial JASTA bill, allowing victims of terrorism to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in US courts.
While Trump often appealed to ignorant and Islamophobic sentiments among Americans, he also appealed to an isolationist desire to stop meddling around the world. Trump made fighting ISIS, the Wahabbi extremist group unleashed amid US-Saudi regime change efforts, a key plank of his campaign.
Will Trump live up to his words? Will the USA end its alliance with Pro-Wahabbi autocratic regimes that are linked to terrorism?
Though Trump spoke against the Saudis and talked of fighting ISIS, his campaign included reckless denunciations of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Trump’s speeches often seemed to lump Iran in with ISIS, ignoring the fact that Iranian Revolutionary Guards are on the battlefield each and every day, risking their lives to defeat ISIS.
Iran is greatly threatened by ISIS terrorism. ISIS and most Wahabbis consider the Islamic Republic of Iran to be led by “Shia Apostates.” ISIS and other anti-government forces in Syria have recruited fighters from around the world on the basis of toppling Syrian President Bashar Assad because of his Alawi faith, which Wahabbis consider to be a variation of Shia apostasy.
Contradictory Middle East Positions
For too long, the USA has been targeting secular, nationalist governments like the Baathist regimes of Iraq and Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran, or Gaddafi’s Libya. In doing so they have been passively helping and strengthening the bloodthirsty Wahabbi fanatics who these regimes have held back, and whose ideological foundation is promoted by Saudi Arabia.
If Trump is serious about stopping ISIS and the surrounding wave of Wahabbi terrorism, he will immediately end the US financial and military relationship with the Saudi regime, as well as the nearby, pro-Wahabbi autocracies.
Furthermore, Trump will need to end his irresponsible demonization of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and join with the Iranians, the Russians, the Syrian government, and China in the fight against ISIS terrorism.
If Trump were to do this, it would be one of the most dramatic shifts ever seen in US foreign policy.
During his campaign, Trump has taken two somewhat contradictory positions in relation to the Middle East. While he has denounced Saudi Arabia and talked about how US “regime change” policies have strengthened terrorism, he has also repeated the anti-Iranian talking points of Netanyahu, and spoken with great admiration for Israel.
Israel has been the greatest direct beneficiary of the US policy in the Middle East. Each regime the US has targeted in the region–Syria, Iraq, and Iran–have been outspoken opponents of Israel who directly support Palestinian resistance. Meanwhile, the Wahabbi-linked autocrats denounce Israel in words, but do very little to threaten its existence or strength.
Israel’s primary enemies, Iran and Syria, are also the primary target of the Wahabbi fanatics and the Saudi monarchy. Israel and Saudi Arabia may denounce each other, but their foreign policies both center on hostility to what the Saudis call “the Shia crescent.”
Regarding the Middle East, the new President will be forced to decide whether he seeks to continue aligning US and Israel foreign policies, and targeting Iran and Syria, or whether he wants to end Wahabbi terrorism, and stop cooperating with the regimes actively linked to it.
Trump is often perceived as quite unpredictable. Whichever choice he makes, it is likely to surprise many people.
Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College.
A senior Israeli official says Tel Aviv should be concerned about deepening disconnect with Moscow over Russia’s role in the Syria conflict.
Avi Dichter, chairman of Israel’s foreign affairs and military committee and the former head of the Shin Bet intelligence agency, says Russia’s interests in the region by no means coincide with Israel’s.
“The gap between us and them is large and disturbing,” he told Reuters news agency after returning from a visit to Moscow where he held high-level meetings last week.
Dichter said Russia’s views on Iran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Lebanese group Hezbollah were in sharp contrast to Israel’s and a growing source of potential conflict.
Russia does not view Iran and its allies “according to the level of threat they pose or broadcast towards Israel,” he said.
The Russians, he said, “view Hezbollah positively” and are backing the group’s assistance to the Syrian government in the war against Takfiri and other terrorists.
“Russia thinks and acts as a superpower and as such it often ignores Israeli interest when it doesn’t coincide with the Russian interest,” Dichter said.
Israel is believed to have been assisting militants fighting to topple President Assad in Syria. The Israeli regime’s worries have risen as Takfiri terrorists have suffered major setbacks over the past few months.
Tel Aviv’s main concern is to be able to attack Hezbollah, with which it fought a war in 2006. Over the past two years, Israeli artillery and warplanes have carried out several strikes against alleged weapons convoys in southern Syria that Israel claimed were destined for Hezbollah.
The occupying regime’s freedom of movement in the area is now more restricted because of the presence of Russian jets and advanced anti-aircraft batteries that Moscow has put in place.
With Russia becoming more deeply involved in the Syria conflict, Tel Aviv has sought to keep lines of communication with Moscow open to avoid an accidental confrontation.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has visited President Vladimir Putin three times this year, apparently in an effort to persuade him to drop Russia’s engagement in Syria.
But Dichter said Russia thinks Assad should stay in power, that Iran is a stabilizing force and that the nuclear deal the word powers struck with Tehran was largely positive.
Castigating the US electorate as accomplices and facilitators of wars, or, at best, dismissing the voters as ignorant sheep-people (‘sheeple’) herded by political elites, describes a partial reality. Public opinion polls, even the polls overwhelmingly slanted toward the center-right, consistently describe a citizenry opposed to militarism and wars, past and present.
Both the Right and Left have failed to grasp the contradiction that defines US political life: Namely, the profound gap between the American public and the Washington elite on questions of war and peace within an electoral process that consistently leads to more militarism.
This is an analysis of the most recent US public opinion polls with regard to outcome of the recent elections. The essay concludes with a discussion of the deep-seated contradictions and proposes several ways in which these contradictions can be resolved.
A major survey of public opinion, sponsored by the Charles Koch Institute and the Center for the National Interest, conducted by the Survey Sampling International, interviewed a sample of one thousand respondents.
The Results: War or Peace
More than half of the American public oppose any increase in the US military role overseas while only 25% back military expansion.
The public has expressed its disillusionment over Obama’s foreign policy, especially his new military commitments in the Middle East, which have been heavily promoted by the state of Israel and its US domestic Zionist lobby.
The US public shows a deep historical memory with regard to the past military debacles launched by Presidents Bush and Obama. Over half of the public (51%) believe that the US has become less safe over the past 15 years (2001-2015), while one eighth (13%) feel they are more secure.
In the present period, over half of the public opposes the deployment of ground troops to Syria and Yemen and only 10% favor continued US support for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
With regard to specific US wars, over half believe that Bush’s invasion of Iraq made the US homeland less secure, while only 25% believe it didn’t increase or decrease domestic security. Similar responses were expressed with regard to Afghanistan: 42% believe the Afghan War increased insecurity and about a third (34%) felt it did not affect US security.
In terms of future perspectives, three quarters (75%) of the American public want the next President to focus less on the US military operations abroad or are uncertain about its role. Only 37% are in favor of increased spending for the military.
The mass media and the powerful financial backers of the Democratic Presidential candidate have focused on demonizing Russia and China as ‘the greatest threats in our time’. In contrast, almost two thirds (63.4%) of Americans believe the greatest threat comes from terrorism both foreign and domestic. Only 18% view Russia and China as major threats to their security.
In regard to the Pentagon, 56% want to reduce or freeze current military spending while only 37% want to increase it.
Wars and Peace: The Political Elites
Contrary to the views of a majority of the public, the last four US Presidents, since the 1990’s, have increased the military budget, sending hundreds of thousands of US troops to launch wars in three Middle Eastern countries, while promoting bloody civil wars in three North African and two European countries. Despite public opinion majorities, who believe that the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have increased threats to the US security, Obama kept ground troops, air and sea forces and drone operations in those countries. Despite only 10% public approval for his military policies, the Obama regime has sent arms, advisors and Special Forces to support the Saudi dictatorship’s invasion of tiny Yemen.
Obama and the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pushed a policy of encircling Russia and demonizing its President Putin as the greatest threat to the US in contrast to US opinion, which considers the threat of Islamist terrorism as five times more serious.
While the political elite and the leading Presidential candidates promise to expand the number of US troops abroad and increase military spending, over three quarters of the American public oppose or are uncertain about expanding US militarism.
While candidate Clinton campaigned for the deployment of the US Air Force jets and missiles to police a ‘no fly zone’ in Syria, even shooting down Syrian and Russian government planes, the majority of US public opposed it by 51%.
In terms of constitutional law, fully four-fifths (80%) of the US public believes the President must secure Congressional approval for additional military action abroad. Nevertheless, Presidents from both parties, Bush and Obama launched wars without Congressional approval, creating a precedent which the next president is likely to exploit.
Analysis and Perspectives
On all major foreign policy issues related to waging war abroad, the political elite is far more bellicose than the US public; they are far more likely to ignite wars that ultimately threaten domestic security; they are more likely to violate the Constitutional provisions on the declaration of war; and they are committed to increasing military spending even at the risk of defunding vital domestic social programs.
The political elites are more likely to intervene in wars in the Middle East, without domestic support and even in spite of majoritarian popular opposition to war. No doubt the executives of the oligarchical military-industrial complex, the pro-Israel power configuration and the mass media moguls are far more influential than the pro-democracy public.
The future portends a continuation of militarism by the political elites, and increase in domestic security threats and even less public representation.
Some Hypothesis on the Contradiction between Popular Opinion and Electoral Outcomes
There is clearly a substantial gap between the majority of Americans and the political elite regarding the role of the military in overseas wars, the undermining of constitutional prerogatives, the demonization of Russia, the deployment of US troops to Syria and deeper US entanglement in Middle East wars for the benefit of Israel.
Yet it is also a fact that the US electorate continue to vote for the two major political parties which have consistently supported wars, formed military alliances with warring Middle East states, especially Saudi Arabia and Israel and aggressively sanctioned Russia as the main threat to US security.
Several hypotheses regarding this contradiction should be considered:
1. Close to 50% of the eligible voters abstain from voting in Presidential and Congressional elections. This most likely includes many among the majority of Americans who oppose the expansion of the US military role overseas. In fact, the war party ‘winner’ typically claims victory with less than 25% of the electorate – and threats this as a mandate to launch more wars.
2. The fact that the mass media vehemently supports one or the other of the two war parties probably influences a minority of the electorate who decide to actually participate in the elections. However, critics have exaggerated the mass media’s influence and fail to explain why the majority of the American public disagree with the mass media and oppose the militarist propaganda.
3. Many Americans, while opposed to militarism, vote for the ‘lesser evil’ between the two war parties. They may believe that there are greater and lesser ‘degrees’ of war mongering and choose the less strident.
4. Americans, who consistently oppose militarism, may decide to vote for militarist politicians for reasons besides those of overseas wars. For example, majoritarian Americans may support a militarist politician who has secured funding for local infrastructure programs, or protected farm and dairy subsidies, or who promises jobs programs, lowers public debt or opposes corrupt incumbents.
5. Americans, opposed to militarism, may be deceived by the pronouncements of a demagogic presidential candidate from one of the war parties, whose promise of peace will give way to escalating wars.
6. Likewise, the emphasis on ‘identity politics’ can deceive anti-war voters into supporting a proven militarist because of issues related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual preferences or loyalties to overseas states.
7. The war parties work together to block mass media access for anti-militarist parties, especially preventing their participation in national electoral debates viewed by tens of millions of voters. War parties collude to set impossible restrictions against anti-militarist party participation in national level elections, banning citizens with non-violent police records or former convicts who have served their sentences from voting. They reject poor citizens who lack photo identification, limit access to transport to voting sites, limit the number of polling places in poor or minority neighborhoods and deny time-off for workers to vote. Unlike other countries, US elections are held on a work day and many workers are unable to vote.
In other words the electoral process is ‘rigged’ and imposes ‘forced voting’ and abstention: Collusion between the two war parties limits voter choice to abstention or casting a ballot for the ‘lesser evil’ among the militarists.
Only if elections were open and democratic, where anti-militarist parties were allowed equal rights to register, participate and debate in the mass media, and where campaign financing were made equal would the contradictions between the wishes of the anti-militarist majorities and votes cast for pro-war elites be resolved.
Readings in the Jewish Zionist Control of the United States: Interviews with Francis Boyle, James Petras, and Kim Petersen
Part 1: Introduction
For the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices.
— Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter 
How the Interviews Came About
The Marxian thesis that the dominant culture and ideology of a society (here referred to as Social Base or just Base) are those of the dominant class (here referred to as System) is a sharp tool to probe how political systems work and how they stay in power. Does this tool work in the U.S. model? Certainly, in the United States, the relation between the System and its Social Base has been regular since the inception of the thirteen colonies. Because of that sustained regularity, System and Base acted in convergent patterns of dependency. In historical perspective, it was not possible for the System to transform those colonies into states, and thereafter expand its conquests to form a continental empire without a solid social base that shared its purpose and visions for expansion. From that time onward, an ideological symbiosis ran between the System and the Base. Not only that, but each time the System modifies direction, philosophy, or ideology, the Base would adapt by modifying its attitudes and perception.
The patterns of ideological association between the U.S. System and its Social Base extended into modern times, and the yardstick to measure them is the presidential elections. If you look at voters’ turnout since 1960, you will notice that a relative-to-large majority of Americans had voted in those elections. My interpretation of the vote in relation to Marx’s thesis is the following. Voting for a system that is known for its aggressive imperialist policies, crimes around the world, overthrowing foreign governments not in line with Washington, and countless military interventions and invasions that left millions of people dead means one thing: Voting for that system while knowing its attributes, policies, and actions amounts to active sharing in its ideology, culture, and violence.
Caveat! That does not necessarily mean that all voters share the System’s imperialistic values of violence and destruction of foreign peoples. The pertinent meaning of voting interpreted in relation to the System’s foreign policy objectives versus the objectives of the Base resides in two concepts. Discarding immediately the notion that the Base has been cohabitated by the system, the first concept has it that the Base has given a mandate to the System to carry out its ideology of empire and imperialism based on the undeclared condition to spare the people from the horrors of foreign wars. A dichotomy sets in here. The System has its way of life, and the Base has its own. The second concept has to do with the basic tenets of colonialism. Meaning, if the System could be successful to obtain unspecified benefits through wars, then the base could share in these benefits despite aversion to violence and opposition to the institution of war as a means to resolve problems between nations.
A question: Would abstaining from voting resolve the issue of “active sharing” in the policies of the system? This subject is open for debate . . .
The relation between the American System and its Base was uniform up to a certain point in history (late 1920s). Until that point, the American state was still busy completing its structural transformation into a big power status. That uniformity, however, managed to keep the patterns of the political power unchanged. To be exact, despite persistent immigration that should have altered the relations between the Base and government, as well as the composition of the latter, the dominance of the traditional ruling elites was 1) not open for challenge, and 2) shaped by an exclusive American Anglo-Saxon experience.
But when Franklyn D. Roosevelt showed signs of surrender to the Zionist pressure on the issue of establishing a “Jewish” state in Palestine, he opened a large crack in the System. That was the first time in U.S. history where the powerful American imperialist state yielded to a foreign ideology that was not part of its basic project. With that, a movement with a limited religious social base began penetrating the files and ranks of the U.S. power. The rest is history. As a result, the unrelenting entrenchment inside the political structures of the United States coupled with accumulated changes in the configuration of the U.S. power, the dominant American System itself fell under the domination of one of its social factions—American Jewish Zionists.
When Franklyn D. Roosevelt showed signs of surrender to the Zionist pressure on the issue of establishing a “Jewish” state in Palestine, he opened a large crack in the System.
As a group, American Jewish Zionists have all attributes of an independent establishment. They possess efficient organizational structures, have a monolithic political presence across the American system, and they know how to finance their activities with U.S. tax money. I must note that their alignment with the global agenda of U.S. imperialism is a two-point expedient. The first is focused on being recognized as earnest operators at the service of America’s interests. The second is tactical. To reap, on behalf of Israel, the benefits of alignment with slogans such as “Israel is our only trusted ally in the Middle East”.
The American Jewish Zionist experience is agenda driven. As such, their domestic and foreign agendas have precedence over any other Jewish-related consideration.
On the domestic front, the focus could not be more evident: to consolidate Zionism in the United States and turn it into a means to 1) perpetuate Israel as an American national issue, and 2) make of them the principal factor in defining American politics. You can notice the endeavor clearly during U.S. elections when the Zionist media question whether this or that candidate is good for the Jews, and for Israel. Today, voicing dissent against the policies of American Jewish Zionism or criticizing Israel amounts to crime. Jimmy Carter experienced this firsthand. When he published his book: Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, American Jewish Zionists unleashed the fire of hell upon him.
As for the Jewish Zionist foreign agenda, this is clear-cut and leaves no space for misunderstanding. It aims to induce, control, or lead the United States to 1) adopt hostile policies toward the Arab nations because due to their rejection of the Zionist state, and 2) undertake military actions against any country that appears as posing a potential or direct threat to Israel. Equally important, it demands that the United States keep denying the Palestinians rights for nationhood through American diplomacy. What is the rationale? Recognition of the Palestinian national rights means the invalidation of the Zionist state and its claim on Palestine.
Because the Jewish Zionist control of the U.S. System is real and dominant, how does the American society figure vis-à-vis this dominance? Based on observations of the American society and its multiple cultural and ideological patterns, there can be but one answer: Zionism is not the dominant culture and ideology of the American people. It is, however, the dominant culture and ideology of the U.S. political system.
First, despite gargantuan Zionist propaganda apparatuses directed to the American people, Jewish Zionists have consistently failed to create interest or sympathy for Zionist issues and for Israel,
Second, due to historically developed indifference to foreign issues, a majority of Americans have only vague ideas on what Zionism is,
Third, to establish roots for their political dominance, Jewish Zionist activists invariably focus not on the American people, but on ways to control the American system from inside by controlling first the institutions that matter: White House and Congress.
Fourth, this control did not happen because of elections. It is preponderantly due to the practice of appointing Jewish Zionists to important positions inside the administrations,
Fifth, among the stratagems employed by Zionists when they run for elective offices, one was particularly effective: Take advantage of the reverence of the population for the idea of election. To do that, Jewish Zionist candidates rarely, if ever, talk about Israel or Zionism. Instead, they only debate matters of interest to the voters. Once elected though, promoting Israel via American legislations becomes the top hidden agenda,
Sixth, and to conclude this particular argument, the fact that one administration after another succumbed to the diktat of Jewish Zionists (thus indirectly to Israel) in matters of foreign policy and wars proves that the culture and praxis of those administrations are those of the dominant ideology and culture—Zionism.
Another point to discuss is the expansion of the Jewish Zionist power. By all accounts, such an expansion is not a phenomenon but an incremental process. In his book, The Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite, Robert D. Kaplan defined the issue that I framed as a process in terms of gradual replacement of traditional diplomatic elites with new ideological elites that had no interest in the ways of the old school of diplomacy. Kaplan was unambiguous. He called these new elites by their names: Irish-Americans and Jewish-Americans.
Kaplan’s viewpoint on this replacement is important to our discussion. He argued that the old elites approached the U.S.-Arab relations with an open mind and readiness for dialog, all while keeping an eye on the U.S. imperialist interests. His argument opens the door for a veritable conclusion. The two groups of post-WWII American society that Kaplan mentioned had in fact changed the dynamics of U.S. foreign policy. (It is public knowledge that both groups are known for their hostility toward Arabs and Muslims—each for his own set of religious, political, and ideological rationales.). As for the successive shares of African-Americans and Hispanics in the making of the national policy of the United States, this is another argument.
As a witness to history, in early 2012, I began drafting a comprehensive analysis on the role of American Jewish Zionists in the making of U.S. policies and wars in the Arab world. In May of that year, as my work became broad in scope, I decided to seek more views on the subject. I came up with the idea to conduct several interviews where I pose the same questions. While some of the prospective interviewees declined, and others accepted but then withdrew, three prominent thinkers acclaimed for their knowledge, scholarship, and outstanding political activism graciously gave me their views.
They are Francis Boyle, a professor of international law, University of Illinois, College of Law; James Petras, a professor emeritus, University of Binghamton, New York; Canadian writer and former co-editor of the online publication of Dissident Voice Kim Petersen. Professors Boyle and Petras answered my questions via phone conversations, and, Petersen via email correspondence.
However, in the weeks following the interviews, my work swelled up to such a length that it became unsuitable for internet publishing. In short, I was unable to honor my commitment to publish the interviews as planned. Today, as I thank Prof. Francis Boyle, Prof. James Petras, and Kim Petersen for sharing their invaluable insight, I apologize to them for the delay in putting the interviews out there to read.
The turning point in the emergence of Jewish Zionism as a dominant American political force came about when Iraq invaded Kuwait. (Discussing the origins and strategic complications of that invasion goes beyond the scope of this introduction.) The Jewish Zionist establishment seized the occasion, mobilized its omnipresent propaganda operatives, and led colossal media campaigns to promote military actions against Iraq. To bring their war mania to fruition, they unleashed their “experts” in all directions. They talked about Iraq’s “formidable” military capabilities and about Saddam’s one-million-man standing army ready to invade Saudi Arabia and seize its oil. They told stories about Saddam Hussein’s personal life, his bunkers, and his mortal “nuclear threats” to Israel. And they talked about Iraq’s threats to U.S. interests and “allies” in the Middle East. . . . Here is a brief account of those events.
On July 25, 1990, Iraqi president Saddam Hussein met with U.S. ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie. It is on record that Glaspie gave Hussein an unambiguous but indirect greenlight to resolve Iraq’s problems with Kuwait militarily. On August 2, Iraq invaded Kuwait. On August 3, George H. W. Bush ordered the freezing of Iraqi and Kuwaiti assets and immediately placed Iraq under hermetic embargo. Considering the prompt, extraordinary anti-Iraq measures that the United States took in the first 24 hours of that invasion, one wonders what was pushing the U.S. to move so quickly on Iraq knowing that only two days earlier, this was conducting a U.S. proxy against Iran. The observation that the U.S. did not take similar actions when Iraq invaded Iran in 1980, or when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 raises many questions. What were the U.S. rationales in taking such measures? Who conceived them? Did the U.S. entrap Iraq? Why? . . .
The atmosphere that followed the invasion was surrealistic. Like a lightning bolt, U.S. imperialist and Zionist forces instantly mobilized their media, talking heads, retired generals, and bogus experts on the Middle East. The deafening uproar they made and all lies they told about atrocities committed by Iraq in Kuwait hid a definite scheme: Incite for war. In the period August 2, 1990 – January 14, 1991, Israelis and Jewish Zionists from all fields appeared en mass and in every possible medium available to urge the Bush regime to give up diplomacy in favor of war. On January 15, 1991, a 30-member “coalition” in which the U.S. had the lion share—ninety-seven percent of the total force—attacked Iraq. By every standard and minutia of details, the war on Iraq in 1991 was an American War.
At the end of a war that destroyed one of Israel’s Arab adversaries, George H. W. Bush might have thought of himself as America’s “laureate hero”. He did not predict though that his temporary freezing of the U.S. loan guaranties to Israel, would have unleashed the Jewish Zionist establishment against him. The fact that he lost to Bill Clinton (who opposed Bush’s freeze, and who stated that Israel was the “only country that paid back its debts”) indicated that American Jewish Zionists had finally reached their objective: To perfect ways to control the U.S. politics from the inside. In retrospect, it can be said that George H. W. Bush was the last non-Zionist American president. From Bill Clinton forward, U.S. presidents and their vice president became pawns in the Jewish Zionist play of power.
Now, as the United States was preparing for war with Iraq to “liberate” Kuwait, thousands of antiwar activists and intellectuals from a wide spectrum of political convictions spoke loudly against it. But no one could have ever beaten Patrick J. Buchanan’s memorable words about how American Jewish Zionists and Israel were pushing for that war. He said, ”There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East – the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States.”  With that, Buchanan hit the proverbial nail on the head. A.M. Rosenthal, a ringleader of U.S. Zionist journalism could not bear what he heard. In a rebuttal, he unleashed an acerbic attack against Buchanan. His weapon of argument, so to speak, was the stale and trite accusation of “antisemitism”.
Whining, Rosenthal twisted Buchanan’s clear words and went on to imply that Buchanan was in effect engaging in an “anti-Jewish” tirade. He re-interpreted Buchanan’s words and cast them in a standard Zionistic fashion. He wrote that Buchanan’s intention was ”The Jews are trying to drag us into war. Only Jews want war. Israeli Jews want war to save Israel’s hide. American Jews who talk of military action against Iraq want war because it would suit Israeli interests. They are willing to spill American blood for Israeli interests.” 
By inserting the word, “Jew” in his reply, Rosenthal and the New York Times behind him spat on the face of U.S. political reality under the tight grip of Zionism. We need not waste our breath on Rosenthal’s petty tactic. His clear objective was to distract from the central issue, which is, Buchanan’s opposition to the planned war against Iraq was unrelated to the religious denomination of those who were promoting it. Rather he was unmistakably referring to their political identity.
Still, Buchanan was honest. He pointed the finger to Israel and its “Amen corner” because that was the truth. The fact that most Israelis and “Amen corners” happened to be of Jewish faith was nonissue. To conclude, it is evident that Buchanan, a dreamer of an American “republic” not “empire”, could not stand by idle while seeing the United States sheepishly fastened to the yoke of Zionism and gutlessly prostrating before a tiny settler state, Israel.
Buchanan did not stop there. Truthful and resolute, he dared to describe in categorical terms the pitiful condition of the U.S. Congress vis-à-vis Israel and American Jewish Zionists. He dubbed it as “An Israeli-occupied territory” . Buchanan powerfully hit the target in such a way that countless cowardly American politicians would dare not think, let alone say. Notice that Buchanan had placed Israel before its U.S. “amen corner”. I view this as a statement. He clearly implied that Israel is the primary decision maker. Did that also imply that U.S. Zionist groups (amen corner) are puppets moved by Israel? Most likely, if so, which has more power in setting the U.S. world agenda and policies: Israel or American Jewish Zionists? Dialectically, the answer should be Israel by means of its “amen corner’.
Now, in December 1991, Jim Lehrer (a former co-anchor of The Macneil/Lehrer NewsHour, and later sole anchor of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer) interviewed Pat Buchanan. It is important to mention, that Jim Lehrer has monopolized a significant position funded by federal tax money for over 30 years starting in 1975. Is that an issue? Yes, and to debate it, the following applies. Whenever a specific group of people, be they Christian, Muslim, Jewish, atheist, duopoly party apparatchiks, etc., keeps an important public post for such a long duration, the implication is unescapable: the group controls that post because of its embedded importance. . . . But more important, they have the power to keep it.
Nonetheless, when a specific group continues to hold, throughout time, important positions inside public corporations, agencies, and branches of the U.S. government, a paradigm emerges. Either the group controls said corporations directly—that is why it is able to do what they want. Or, it controls them indirectly by controlling first who appoints the board of trustees and sets corporate policies and appointees. At any rate, considering this type of control, the assumption that such group has power over the government and its public corporations is reasonable.
Additionally, the issue of monopoly of news is critical in another respect. It means that someone within the context of U.S. imperialism has decided that the U.S. public discourse must conform to predetermined patterns. In these patterns, issues such as Israel, Zionism, Palestine, U.S. imperialism in the Middle East, wars, etc., are designed to move only on linear grounds without ever touching the core of the matter.
Before continuing, I must state that Lehrer’s political views are not a subject to discuss vis-à-vis his program. For one, the NewsHour program is not about the personal views of presenters—it is about information prepared for the public from a public corporation. Second, whether Lehrer had sympathies for Israel or Zionism is nonissue because most viewers expect neutral discussions regardless of who delivers them. Nevertheless, a situation such as this has a consequence affecting the special relations between the narrated news/comments, the people who deliver them, and the people who hear them.
Firstly, planning news delivery to attain specific results is a good technique for those in the business of indoctrination. Psychology and perception are the areas of expertise that news planners depend on to disseminate certain news and analyses. To be sure, these planners know that most viewers have no special or personal stakes on events happening in other countries. Still, the immediate consequence that controlled news and commentaries could generate is easy to predict. They also know they can seep to the viewers pre-conceived ideas through pleasant dialogs, affable manners, appearance of neutrality, and clever circumlocutions.
To be fair to Lehrer, he was consistent in making intelligent questions. However, he was also consistent at doing something else. He would calibrate his questions in such a way as not to reveal new truths or solicit critical replies that could go beyond boundaries deliberately conceived so as not to be crossed. It is pragmatic to say that the observance of these boundaries would nicely serve the Zionist and imperialist discourse. In essence, a practice thusly followed is a preemptive mechanism of control cloaked as a professional presentation.
Now, in his interview, Lehrer played dumb when he asked Buchanan about his bold characterization of the Congress. He phrased his question as follows, “You have also said that Congress is an Israeli-occupied territory. Now, what do you mean by that?” [Italics are mine]
COMMENT: Semantically as much as politically, Buchanan’s figure of speech was terse and unequivocal. He plainly meant that the Congress observes Israel’s agenda and acts accordingly. There was no need for Buchanan to say anything further because what he said had (and still has) basis in verifiable facts. With a question such as, “what do you mean by that” Lehrer was not seeking a rational reply from Buchanan. The form and content of the question had the objective of wanting to entrap Buchanan, make him retract, or at least contradict himself to show inconsistency. In essence, Lehrer had simply tried to deny that Israel controls the Congress through its “amen corner” because his “what do you mean” indicated astonishment rather than request for explanation. 
To wrap up the issue, without exclusion, any denial of the Jewish Zionist control of the United States is a farce. Take Abraham H. Foxman of the infamous Anti-Defamation League as an example. Foxman authored a master‑deceptive propaganda book that he called, “The Deadliest Lies: The Israeli Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control. [Italics are mine]. First, Foxman lied. He knew very well that the Jewish [Zionist] control is not a myth but a pervasive reality. Second, but most important, the problem is not the abstract “Jewish control” but the specific—Jewish Zionist control. This can be explained using a current universal truth: hundreds of thousands of Jews from all nationalities actively oppose Zionism on political, religious, ethical, historical, and ideological grounds.
Foxman’s denial means one of two things. Either he is a parochial charlatan when the subject is the undisputed power of American Jewish Zionism, or he is very ignorant of the history of Zionism in the United States, which is impossible. Either way, Foxman’s business is propaganda, demagogy, and deception. Incidentally, Foxman’s denial looks very similar to what some Arabs do in the Middle East. Villagers—but even some city folks—try to fend off “envy” by following an eon-old superstition. They fix a drawing on a wall in their shops or homes showing the palm of an open hand with an open eye in its center. It appears that Foxman and his associates have their own superstition. By decrying the “deadliest lies” against American Jewish Zionists, they try to fend off the accusation or the “envy” that Jews—specifically, Jewish Zionists—have power and influence.
Of substance, did Foxman not learn or did anyone inform him about what John Foster Dulles told William Knowland (a pro-Zionist senator from California) back in February 1957? In an exchange about the proposed sanctions to get Israel out of Egyptian territory occupied by Israel in the Suez War, Dulles pronounced these prophetic words, “We cannot have all our policies made in Jerusalem . . .” . That was in 1957. Today, all those who deride or deny the charge that Israel has a say on U.S. foreign policy and wars in the Middle East must prove that those who are making this charge are misinformed or just lying.
Interestingly, years after Buchanan made that statement, the successive events proved his sharp assessment and political perspicacity. Two people vindicated his characterization of Capitol Hills as an Israeli-occupied territory” and both used his words to make the point. The first is a former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, and the second is Philip Weiss, founder of MondoWeiss website. In an article he wrote in 2011, Giraldi pointed to the Congress as, “It’s Still Occupied Territory“. Weiss titled a piece he wrote in 2015 as such: “Capitol Hill — still Israeli-occupied territory“.
At this point, do American Jewish Zionists control the United States? Do they control it as polity or only the political system? Do they have real influence in setting U.S. foreign policy and wars against the Arab and Muslim nations? Or maybe all this talk is no more than baseless allegations?
Part 2: Discussion
Part 3: Interview with Francis Boyle
Part 4: Interview with James Petras
Part 5: Interview with Kim Petersen
- Jimmy carter, Speaking frankly about Israel and Palestine, Los Angeles Times, 8 December 2006
- Pat Buchanan, The McLaughlin Group, Aug 26, 1990, quoted in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, What They Said: Israel and Its “Amen Corner”, February 1992
- ON MY MIND; Forgive Them Not, The New York Times, 14 September 1990
- Quoted in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Is Congress an Israeli-Occupied Territory?, July 1995
- The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, What They Said: Israel and Its “Amen Corner”, Feb. 1992
- David Tal, editor, The 1956 War: Collusion and Rivalry in the Middle East, Frank Cass Publishers, 2001, p. 40